The San Diego Padres are a Major League Baseball team according to various interweb sources. At the moment, then happen to be a fairly troubled Major League Baseball team. I think there was a divorce in the ownership family some years agoâ€¦assets were liquidatedâ€¦franchise players were dealtâ€¦camouflage uniforms were scaled back onâ€¦.
Itâ€™s been a tough couple of years.
In 1998, the Padres represented the National League in the World Series. There were quickly trounced by the Yankees and since then, the team slowly fell from grace in the NL west. First ballot Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman is gone. Jake Peavy is gone. I think they even got rid of the chicken.
So yes. The Padres are waiting for their renaissance period. Is 2010 the start of something special in San Diego? Has the new decade brought with it the return of the Padres to the class of the National League?
Letâ€™s have a look.
UTL â€“ Jerry Hairston Jr., Tony Gwynn Jr., Aaron Cunningham
Closer â€“ Heath Bell
Take another gander at that roster. That’s what 40 million dollars can buy you in the Majors in 2010. I hate to keep kicking this team while theyâ€™re down, but there is virtually nothing to be inspired by here. Adrian Gonzalez is the best player on the team by a friarâ€™s robe length, and while he is probably the most affordable player -production wise- in all of baseball, many think he too soon be gone so that San Diego may retool itâ€™s minor league system with a bevy of Boston or some other prospect laden team headed back to the Padres.
To be fair, that is likely the weakest every day lineup in the league. Once Gonzalez moves on, my goodness, I donâ€™t know what youâ€™d hope for at the ball park every day. Maybe a 2 for 1 Hairston Brothers bobblehead giveaway day will be scheduled. I donâ€™t even know how to make a 1-9 lineup card out of those names, although Iâ€™ll stick with tradition and say manager Bud Black decides to hit Gonzalez third and the pitcher last. The other seven slots he might as well pick out of a hat.
The rotation isnâ€™t bad by any means. Itâ€™ll be difficult to go up against the Lincecumâ€™s and Cainâ€™s of the Giants, the Kershawâ€™s and Kurodaâ€™s of the Dodgers, and the Jimenez‘ and De La Rosaâ€™s of the Rockies, but there are worse rotations in the league. Correia quietly had a nice year last year, and Latos and Poreda could make a nice duo in years to come. Something to consider though is that San Diegoâ€™s Petco Park is the best pitchers park in the league. This team would be better suited throwing the three contributing writers of this blog out there in their starting rotation and spending their money on power/speed/average/lottery ticket type hitters.
Closer Heath Bell continues seamlessly in his transition from set up man to powerful closer, but again, a team with this sort of makeup canâ€™t afford to have their second best player be their 50 innings per year closer.
I watched the Grammyâ€™s last night, and apart from the forced duets that the Grammy producers insist upon showcasing year after year, and the very sad and confusing sight that were the late King of Popâ€™s children, the thing that stuck out to me most was the Black Eyed Peas. I donâ€™t particularly enjoy the Black Eyed Peas, but many, many people do. The Black Eyed Peas performed a couple of shortened songs with a smattering of backup dancers and DJâ€™s and special effects. They were on stage for a total of maybe 5 minutes. The band consists of 4 members. The two that anyone who doesnâ€™t follow the band around the country know include Fergie and Mr. Will.I.Am. There are two other men in the group. They were not permitted to sing and were marginalized to the side stages for any major choreography. They were allowed to participate, but no one was really taking them seriously. They were in short, the 2010 San Diego Padres.
Looking back, this preview looks overly harsh, but in fact I think Iâ€™ve sugar coated it a bit. Shout for the pina colada man, Padres fans. Itâ€™s going to be a long summer.
Team MVP â€“ Gonzalezâ€¦for as long as heâ€™s there.
X-Factor â€“ the amazing weather in the greater San Diego area. Should make this brand of baseball easier to consume.
Standing: 5th in the NL West with a good chance of securing first overall pick in 2011 draft.